Mérida, Yucatán.- Animal rights defenders said they are against the modification to Mérida’s Wildlife Protection Regulation, which prohibits leaving food for animals on public streets.
According to activist and member of Red Animal Yucatán, Raúl Argáez Ortega, this provision would affect associations and individuals who offer food to street animals, as a strategy to protect them, who do not know if the municipal authorities would apply a sanction.
“It not only affects those of us who feed dogs, cats, pigeons, but animals in general. In the case of pigeons, there are people who have been feeding them for many years, and now the dogs and cats, too. In other words, many are wondering if they are going to be fined”, he said.
This modification was unanimously approved by the City Council last September 29, and includes a change in Article 26, paragraph 11, by which it is forbidden to leave food for animals on public streets.
However, during the work of spreading the measure, it generated agreements between associations and aldermen, although in the end, this provision was not contemplated nor was it taken into consideration, which took the groups and activists by surprise.
That is why they said that they will seek the protection of justice to reverse the regulation or to ignore it so as not to stop helping street animals.
The update to the Wildlife Protection Regulation, in its article 107, section five, establishes a sanction of between 100 and 5 thousand Unidades de Medida y Actualizacion for those who leave food on the street, that is, a fine ranging from 8 thousand to 448 thousand pesos for the offender.
For his part, the mayor of Merida, Renan Barrera Concha, confirmed that the sanction will be applied, although he said that the measure seeks to protect the animals from possible mistreatment, as has occurred in the city.
The mayor pointed out that said regulation seeks to pay better attention to the protection of the fauna in the city, so the measure in question is aimed at this.
“It is a health issue, What we are looking for is to encourage adoption so that animals have protection. The issue of fostering wildlife, what can generate is affectations for themselves and a public health problem that we have to take care of,” he commented.
“The issue of leaving food to encourage a massive presence of animals in the city and you have reported cases where there is a counterpart, which seeks to poison them, to kill them. So, precisely for the protection of the fauna we are looking for the adequate channels to be able to have it”, he concluded.